This section contains information for SASS members about accessing benefits before your retirement age. You may be able to access your benefit before retirement in the event of resignation or dismissal, retrenchment or redundancy. A benefit is also payable upon your death.

You may also be able to defer your benefit when you leave employment in the NSW Public sector. Information relating to these points, and more is outlined in the links below:

The type and amount of benefits you receive on resignation will vary depending on factors including the length of time you have been in the scheme.

Less than 10 years in the scheme

If you have been contributing to SASS for less than 10 years, you will receive the balance in your personal account, SANCS basic benefit, Additional Employer Contribution (AEC), Commonwealth Government co-contributions, Low Income Super Tax Offset (LISTO), less any debts. Part of this benefit may need to be retained within the superannuation system if you have not met a Commonwealth condition of release.

More than 10 years in the scheme

If you have been contributing to SASS for 10 years or more, your resignation (withdrawal) benefit payable will consist of the following five parts, less any debts owing on your account:

  • your personal account balance
  • an employer-financed benefit worth up to 2.5%^ of your personal account balance for each year of contributory membership. This amount is limited to the maximum benefit attracted by an average contribution rate of 6%
  • the SANCS basic benefit
  • any Additional Employer Contribution (AEC) amount
  • any Commonwealth Government co-contributions and LISTO amounts

The SANCS basic benefit is fully paid by your employer. It accrues at a rate of up to 3% of final average salary for each year of service from 1 April 1988. Since 1 July 1992, employer-financed benefits (such as the basic benefit) have been increased where necessary to meet Commonwealth SG requirements.

Part of this benefit may need to be retained within the superannuation system if you have not met a Commonwealth condition of release.

^ Approximately 2.12% after the reduction for the tax on employer contributions payable by the Fund since 1 July 1988. Employer-financed benefits attributed to membership prior to 1 July 1988 do not attract contributions tax.

A retrenchment benefit is payable from SASS if you have not reached your eligible retirement age and your service with an employer is compulsorily terminated or you accept an offer of retrenchment on the grounds that:

  • the employer no longer requires your services and, on termination of that service, does not propose to fill your position
  • the work you were engaged to perform is completed
  • the amount of work that the employer requires to be performed has diminished and as a consequence your employer needs to reduce the total number of employees.

For details on how your benefit is calculated and whether part of your benefit is preserved, please refer to SASS Fact Sheet 9: Retrenchment benefit.

What will your retrenchment or redundancy benefit be worth?

The SASS retrenchment benefit is made up of:

  • the full balance of your personal account in SASS

plus

  • your employer-financed benefit of 2.5%^ of the higher of your final salary or final average salary for each accrued benefit point at the date of retrenchment if you're less than 58 years old (your final average salary is used if you are aged 58 or older), less the 15% contribution tax for each year of membership from 1 July 1988

plus

  • the SANCS basic benefit of 3% of your final salary for each year of membership from 1 April 1988 if you're less than 55 years old at the date of retrenchment (your final average salary is used if you are aged 55 or older), less the 15% contribution tax for each year of membership from 1 July 1988

plus

  • the full balance of your Additional Employer Contribution (AEC) account (see your Annual Benefit Statement to find out if this is applicable to you)

plus

  • the full balance of your Commonwealth Government co-contribution and low income superannuation tax offset (LISTO) account (see your Annual Benefit Statement to find out if this is applicable to you)

less

  • any surcharge tax debt, no TFN debt, contribution arrears and interest debt, or other amounts previously paid to you on compassionate grounds or financial hardship.

^ Approximately 2.12% after the reduction for the tax on employer contributions payable by the Fund since 1 July 1988. Employer-financed benefits attributed to membership prior to 1 July 1988 do not attract contributions tax.

Benefit payment options

If you are retrenched, you can complete SASS Form 412: Application for payment of a SASS benefit and send it to the scheme administrator, Mercer. This form allows you to choose whether you:

  • receive any non-preserved component of your retrenchment benefit in cash, and roll over any preserved component to another superannuation arrangement
  • defer your entire retrenchment benefit in SASS if you're under 58 years old
  • defer your SASS benefit in the scheme and roll over your basic benefit (SANCS)
  • roll over all your benefit to another approved superannuation fund.

If you provide all necessary information on the form, Mercer will process your benefit in five working days.

How do I apply for my benefit?

For details on how to apply for your benefit, please refer to SASS Form 412: Application for payment of a SASS benefit.

You may receive an invalidity retirement benefit if you retire from employment before normal retirement age on the grounds of a physical or mental incapacity to perform your duties. The normal retirement benefit is payable on retirement from age 58 (or age 55 for former State Public Service Superannuation Fund (SPSSF) members and some members of earlier schemes).

There are two categories of invalidity benefit:

  • Partial and permanent invalidity
  • Total and permanent invalidity.

The amount of these benefits is determined by whether or not you are covered for the Additional Benefit and if so, by the severity of the invalidity.

For further information refer to SASS Fact Sheet 7: Invalidity retirement benefit.

How do I apply for my benefit?

For details on how to apply for your benefit, please refer to SASS Form 412: Application for payment of a SASS benefit.

Financial advice and invalidity retirement benefit

Before you choose to access your invalidity retirement benefit it may be worthwhile getting expert financial advice. There may be tax and other factors applying to your invalidity retirement benefit. It is important that you are aware of these rules so you can maximise any financial benefits available to you. A financial planner at Aware Super can assist you with these taxation issues and advise you on other financial planning matters. Aware Super financial planners have extensive knowledge of SASS and how it works.

As a State Super member, your first appointment with an Aware Super financial planner is free of cost or obligation. It's an opportunity to ask questions and confirm your understanding of how the scheme, Super and tax rules apply to your invalidity retirement. If you would like the planner to provide you with personal advice tailored to your specific situation, then a fee will apply and that will be discussed with you before any work is commenced.

To arrange a telephone or face-to-face appointment, please call Aware Super on 1800 620 305 or visit retire.aware.com.au/statesuper.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Fire Fighters, Paramedics & Police Officers

If you are employed by the NSW Fire Brigade, NSW Ambulance Service or NSW Police Force, you may be covered under revised death and disability (D&D) provisions.

The scheme legislation was amended to allow members with Additional Benefit cover to opt out and take up the new insurance arrangements provided under the revised D&D provisions. If you currently do not have Additional Benefit cover, you are not eligible to apply for this cover.

Members who elected to opt out cannot opt back in and apply for Additional Benefit cover. For members who elected to retain their Additional Benefit cover, there are no changes to the SASS Additional Benefit provisions.

Note: Aware Financial Services Australia Limited (Aware Financial Services) (ABN 86 003 742 756) holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL number 238430) and is able to provide you with financial product advice. Aware Financial Services is owned by Aware Super Pty Ltd as trustee of Aware Super. State Super does not pay fees to, nor receives any commissions from Aware Financial Services for financial planning and member seminar services provided to State Super members. Neither State Super nor the New South Wales Government take any responsibility for the services offered by Aware Financial Services and its related entities, nor do they guarantee the performance of any service or product provided by Aware Financial Services and its related entities.

The partial and permanent invalidity benefit is available to all members of SASS. It applies where a member retires from employment and State Super delegate is satisfied that:

  • the retirement was due, directly or indirectly, to permanent physical or mental incapacity, and not caused by the member and intended to produce the incapacity, and
  • the scheme member is permanently unable to perform the duties they were required to perform before suffering the incapacity.

The partial and permanent invalidity benefit is made up of:

  • the full balance of the member's personal account in SASS

plus

  • the employer-financed benefit of 2.5%^ of the higher of the final salary or the final average salary for each accrued benefit point at the date the benefit is calculated, less the 15% contribution tax for each year of membership from 1 July 1988

plus

  • the SANCS basic benefit of 3% of the final salary for each year of membership from 1 April 1988 if the member is under 55 years of age at the date the benefit is calculated, or the final average salary if older than 55, less the 15% contribution tax for each year of membership from 1 July 1988

plus

  • the full balance of your Additional Employer Contribution (AEC) account (see your Annual Benefit Statement to find out if this is applicable to you)

plus

  • the full balance of your Commonwealth Government co-contribution and low income super tax offset (LISTO) account (see your Annual Benefit Statement to find out if this is applicable to you)

less

  • any surcharge tax debt, no TFN debt, contribution arrears and interest debt, or other amounts previously paid to you on compassionate grounds or financial hardship.

To find out how to calculate your partial and permanent invalidity benefit, refer to the following partial and permanent invalidity benefit example.

^ Approximately 2.12% after the reduction for the tax on employer contributions payable by the Fund since 1 July 1988. Employer-financed benefits attributed to membership prior to 1 July 1988 do not attract contributions tax.

For a member who is not covered for the Additional Benefit, the total and permanent invalidity benefit is the same as the partial and permanent invalidity benefit referred to above. Total and permanent invalidity applies where a member retires from employment and the STC delegate is satisfied that:

  • the retirement was due, directly or indirectly, to the permanent physical or mental incapacity of the member, not being caused by the member and intended to produce the incapacity, and
  • the scheme member is permanently unable to engage in any paid employment in which, in the opinion of State Super, it would be reasonable to expect the member to engage.

In the event of total and permanent invalidity or death, the benefit payable for a member who is covered for the Additional Benefit is the benefit payable on partial and permanent invalidity, plus an extra amount. Additional Benefit cover is a form of insurance funded by a levy against your account (your employer pays 75% of the cost) and the rate is determined by your age and the amount of cover.

If the Additional Benefit is payable, it is calculated as 4% of the higher of the final salary or the final average salary for each prospective benefit point (see below) up to age 58. (This may vary for members who were compulsorily transferred into SASS from earlier schemes that were closed.)

Prospective benefit points are the benefit points you could have been expected to accrue between the date of your invalidity retirement and the early retirement age. The calculation is based on your average rate of benefit point accrual during your membership, and your salary ratio on your exit date.

The total and permanent invalidity benefit is made up of:

  • the full balance of the member's personal account in SASS

plus

  • the employer-financed benefit of 2.5%^ of the higher of the final salary or the final average salary for each accrued benefit point at the date the benefit is calculated, less the 15% contribution tax for each year of membership from 1 July 1988

plus

  • the Additional Benefit of 4% of the higher of the final salary or the final average salary for each prospective benefit point from the date of benefit calculation up to age 58, less the 15% contribution tax for each year of membership from 1 July 1988

plus

  • the SANCS basic benefit of 3% of the final salary for each year of membership from 1 April 1988 if the member is under 55 at the date of benefit calculation, or the final average salary if the member is older than 55, less the 15% contribution tax for each year of membership from 1 July 1988

plus

  • the full balance of your Additional Employer Contribution (AEC) account (see your Annual Benefit Statement to find out if this is applicable to you)

plus

  • the full balance of your Commonwealth Government co-contribution and low income super tax offset (LISTO) account (see your Annual Benefit Statement to find out if this is applicable to you)

less

  • any surcharge tax debt, no TFN debt, contribution arrears and interest debt, or other amounts previously paid to you on compassionate grounds or financial hardship.

To find out how to calculate your total and permanent invalidity benefit, refer to the following total and permanent invalidity benefit example.

^ Approximately 2.12% after the reduction for the tax on employer contributions payable by the Fund since 1 July 1988. Employer-financed benefits attributed to membership prior to 1 July 1988 do not attract contributions tax.